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Journaling is a popular activity for anyone who is interested in personal development and growth. 

There is something truly impactful about seeing your thoughts on paper. 

At the end of the post I have provided a list of FREE JOURNALING PROMPTS that you can start using!

Benefits of journalling:

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  1. It helps you get clarity on your feelings
  2. It makes the process of finding lessons in bad experiences much quicker
  3. It helps reduce anxiety
  4. It helps manage stress
  5. It helps identify negative thoughts and patterns
  6. It provides an opportunity to override negative thoughts and patterns
  7. It helps identify daily triggers
  8. It helps understand your fears
  9. It helps determine what you want out of life and writing it down helps cement it further
  10. It boosts your memory
  11. It helps you maintain self-discipline and hold yourself accountable
  12. It helps reaffirm positive experiences and seek out the lessons in negative experiences

And these are just a few of the benefits of journaling that I could think of. 

Thoughts that are just thought have higher chances of being forgotten, dismissed and ignored. When thoughts are written down they become more real, it allows your mind to analyse, re-analyse and learn from it once and for all. 

The truth is there is no hard and fast rule to journaling. All you have to do is write down everything you are thinking about. 

That’s all. 

But if you are struggling with it I would like to share a few ways that helped me ease into my journaling process. 

But before we begin, you need to determine a few things.

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Journaling Checklist

What Type of Journal Are You Going to Have?

  1. An Art journal: Where you draw your life and lessons in books. If you have an art journal you will need a lot more materials than what I describe to you below. 

Here is an example of an art journal:

Here’s a super helpful video that will help you get you started with art journaling:

2. A Written journal: Where you write out your life and lessons in books. This post is primarily about written journaling. 

Do You Have A Format Preference?

The second question is do you have a preference in terms of single line, double line books or do you prefer blank pages. Do you like long notebooks, medium sized notebooks or pocket notebooks? If you don’t care about this part, you can skip to the next step.

But from personal experience, picking out a book with a design that you like and with a format and size that you like, makes you more compelled to write in it. 

Pick a Smooth Pen

We have all had experiences with cheap pens that stop working, fade away after a day of using it etc. If you have a pen that you really like writing with, I suggest you get some refills and keep it on stand by. Having a good, trusty pen allows the thoughts to flow more smoothly onto paper.

What time do you want to journal?

My two ideal recommendations are : In the morning after you wake up or right before you go to sleep. 

How to Start Journalling

Step 1: Date, Time and Address

Start by writing the date, time and to whom you are writing to. You can skip the last part if you want, but for a lot of people addressing their thoughts to someone really helps.

So it can like:

17:40 p.m.                                                                                   29-07-20

Hey X, / Dear X, /Dear Diary,

You can address the Universe, God, a friend, yourself, anybody. Addressing it to someone helps you feel like you are talking to someone which helps the thoughts flow out much faster. 

Step 2. Write down how you are feeling right now

Start writing about the present before you write about the past. For eg:

I feel really upset right now. I can’t seem to do anything right.

Step 3: Write about what happened

After you have established how you feel, now is the time to write down what is making you feel that way. Whether it was something that happened last night, earlier in the day or in your dreams, write it down. No one can judge you here, this is for your eyes only. For eg:

Shana said something really mean to me yesterday. I know she said it as a joke and everyone laughed but I felt hurt.

Step 4: What is the lesson you learnt from this incident

I think this point is very self-explanatory.

Step 5: What do you wish would have happened? / How do you wish you would have responded?

If you didn’t like something that happened, you can literally rewrite it here. Or if you didn’t like the way you responded, you can write about how you wish you would have acted here.  For eg:

When Shan said that mean thing and everybody laughed, instead of attacking her back, I stayed quiet and smiled.Then I took her to the side, and explained how I felt hurt by her comments.

This simple action although it may seem silly now, sends a signal to your brain, that this is how you want to act in the future when the situation arises again.

Step 6: A Memory of your Day

Please remember, bad things don’t have to happen for you to journal. Write about your daily life, the things that happened, the people in your life, what you ate, what made you happy, what made you sad. Re-live your day and be grateful for the good things and remember where you went wrong.

Step 7. Question Everything

Oce you have started practicing journaling everyday or as many days as you can, you will start to realize that you notice more things and also that more feelings will start to arise.

Journaling is a process of letting the feeling rise, experiencing it, and trying to understand what is underneath it. 

There will be days when you feel sad and angry and the thing that happened that made you sad or angry, really doesn’t seem bad enough to cause the reaction that it does within you. This is when you step into the next level of journaling, when you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is it reminding me of?
  • Is it because of what happened right now or something that happened before?
  • How can I rectify the situation?

The more you start questioning yourself on paper and make a habit out of it, the more you will be able to do it in everyday life. 

Scroll a little further to get the FREE PURPLE GLITCH JOURNAL PROMPTS.

Fin

With that we come to the end of our posts on journaling. 

I hope this post has given you an idea of where and how to start your journaling journey. 

FREE JOURNALING PROMPTS

If you need the help of some journaling prompts, to help you dig a little deeper and reach your roots that need healing faster, I’ve got you covered. Just fill the form below and I will send a list of 25 Journaling Prompts to you right away!


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